2023 Kia Sportage vs. 2022 Kia Sportage: Which Is Better?

The 2023 Kia Sportage has almost all new trims from the 2022 version, while you can now choose hybrid options.
Written by Jennifer Justice
Reviewed by Jessica Barrett
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The 2023 Kia Sportage has a broader range of options and costs than the older 2022 models, with almost all new trim choices and the addition of hybrid models. However, the 2022 has two trims that are not available in the new lineup, while the cost is lower than the most expensive 2023 selections.
The Kia Sportage is a great option if you’re looking for a stylish compact SUV with a lot of cargo room, though you’re better off sticking to mostly paved roads or low-key areas—the Sportage is all about city driving, not serious off-roading.
We've got you covered if you’re considering taking out a
car loan
on this popular SUV but can’t decide between the 2023 and 2022 Kia Sportage models. Let’s look at the major differences between the two years and compare the features, price tags, and any major upgrades that will make your choice easier. And you won’t even have to resort to "Eeny, meeny, miny, moe."
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2023 Kia Sportage vs. 2022 Kia Sportage: what’s the difference?

As one of the largest compact SUVs, the Kia Sportage beats out competitors like the
Hyundai Tucson
and
Jeep Cherokee
—you’d have to go to the
Kia Sorento
or Jeep Grand Cherokee if you want a larger SUV. 
But what actually changed between the 2023 and 2022 models? Well, a lot. Kia overhauled the Sportage, added a hybrid option, and many new trim options. The pricing is still pretty competitive, and the hybrid options didn’t add much to the price tag. 
Let’s get into the nitty gritty in comparing the two years.

Pricing

As you can see from the chart, many of the 2023 trims were not available during 2022, while two trims were discontinued in 2022. The Sportage got a major overhaul from one year to the next, including adding hybrid models. However, there isn’t a major price jump between model years, and you have a much wider range of options and prices in 2023.
Model
2023 MSRP
2022 MSRP
LX
$27,285
$25,305
Nightfall 
N/A
$29,305
LX Hybrid 
$28,585
N/A
EX
$29,285
$29,605
X-Line 
$32,085
N/A
EX Hybrid
$32,285
N/A
SX
$32,785
N/A
SX Turbo
N/A
$34,965
SX Prestige 
$34,785
N/A
X-Pro
$35,785
N/A
SX Prestige Hybrid
$37,485
N/A
X-Pro Prestige  
$38,085
N/A
X Line Hybrid
$39,785
N/A
X Line Prestige Hybrid
$44,285
N/A
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General specs

There’s not a huge difference in price for the few trims available in both 2023 and 2022, but that’s partly because so many options were added in 2023. Price-wise, there is a wider range in the 2023 editions, but the two years share many of the same basic specs. 
As far as which one is better off-road, you don’t get a major advantage in one year vs. the other, other than the ground clearance. The 2022 model has a 6.4-inch clearance, while the 2023 models give you 7.1 inches for the FWD option, and an 8.3-inch clearance for the AWD vehicles. However, you don’t get a difference in towing capacity based on the year.
You get many of the same basics across the board, so the biggest difference is that you can now choose a hybrid option, which was not available in the 2022 trims. If you want a hybrid Kia, you should focus on the 2023 offerings. 
2023 Kia Sportage
2022 Kia Sportage
Base engine 
2.5-liter four-cylinder engine (187 horsepower)
2.4-liter four-cylinder engine (181 horsepower)
Upgrade engine (SX Turbo)
N/A
Turbo 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine (240 horsepower) 
Hybrid engine
Turbo 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine w/single electric motor (226 horsepower)
N/A
Transmission
Eight-speed Automatic transmission (standard) or six-speed automatic (hybrid)
Six-speed automatic
Drivetrain
All-wheel drive (AWD) or Front-wheel-drive (FWD)
All-wheel drive (AWD) or Front-wheel-drive (FWD)
Maximum towing capacity
1,653 lbs
1,653 lbs
MORE: Kia Sportage Ground Clearance

Fuel economy

The 2023 and 2022 models vary in miles per gallon, though not by much thanks to a minimal change in the engine. Your fuel efficiency also depends on whether you go with all-wheel or front-wheel-drive, while the hybrid options make the biggest difference, to no one’s surprise. While your own fuel economy depends on your driving habits, the EPA-estimated ratings are as follows: 
  • Base engine (2022) AWD: 22 mpg city / 26 mpg highway / 23 mpg combined
  • Base engine (2023) AWD: 23 mpg city / 28 mpg highway / 25 mpg combined
  • Base engine (2022) FWD: 23 mpg city / 30 mpg highway / 26 mpg combined
  • Base engine (2023) FWD: 25 mpg city / 32 mpg highway / 28 mpg combined
  • Turbo engine (2022): 20 mpg city / 28 mpg highway / 23 mpg combined
  • Hybrid: 42 mpg combined / 44 MPGe / 43 miles all-electric range
You get almost double the mpg for the hybrid model, and considering the price tag doesn’t make a huge jump for each trim based on gas vs. hybrid engine, you’ll be saving a lot almost immediately just on trips to the gas pump for very little upfront costs.
MORE: Is a Kia hybrid worth it?

Safety ratings

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) gives both years almost identical scores of almost all “good” ratings (the highest rating), though the headlights get an acceptable or poor rating depending on the trim. The 2023 model gets a higher rating on the side crash test than the 2022 Sportage.
On the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) side of things, it gives the 2022 Sportage four out of five stars on the front crash and rollover tests, and five stars for the side crash test. While the NHTSA has not yet rated the 2023 model, the similar physical build will likely yield almost identical results.
Both models have similar safety features, such as collision warning, multiple features to help drivers stay within their lane, automatic emergency braking, blind-spot monitoring, and even overhead airbags to protect your head during an accident. The seatbelts even automatically tighten during a collision to place you in a safer position on the seat.
The only acceptable/poor rating given was on the headlights, depending on which trim was being reviewed—headlights seem to be the bane of designers’ efforts when it comes to safety ratings. While the 2023 Sportage uses LED lights, and the 2022 uses halogens, the Sportage got docked for both by the IIHS. Overall, however, both years get good ratings all around for safety.
MORE: All the best Kia compact SUVs

Styling and interior changes

The interiors are pretty similar as well between the 2023 and 2022 Sportage, though you have  a few more options with the 2023 model:
  • Standard 8-inch touchscreen
  • 12.3-inch touchscreen standard on some 2023 trims
  • Apple Carplay and Android Auto
  • Audio controls on steering wheel  
  • Bluetooth and audio streaming 
  • Voice recognition technology
  • 60-40 Folding Split-Bench rear seats
  • Heated front seats on some 2023 trims
  • Cloth seating (leather option available)
The
2023 X-Line
and 2022
SX Turbo
give you the high-end version of the Kia Sportage for their year. They offer leather seating and trim, heated front seats, an upgraded audio system, and more. They are also on the pricier end of the scale, though you get a lot of upgrades for your money.
MORE: Which Kia Has the Best Gas Mileage?

Special edition

The 2022 Nightfall trim is the last Sportage tied to this special edition. Surprisingly, this isn’t the most expensive option—it’s actually one of the most affordable trims, starting at $29,305, below the EX and SX Turbo options.
If you want a stylish and dark SUV that features all-black everything, specifically Piano Black, you want to consider this trim. You do get features like a sunroof with a power sunshade. The big draw overall, however, is the looks—after all, it’s called Nightfall for a reason.
MORE: The 2022 Kia Sportage Nightfall: What Does It Include?

2023 Kia Sportage vs. 2022 Kia Sportage: which should you buy?

The biggest deciding factor is going to be whether you want a hybrid engine. The specs are pretty similar between the 2023 Sportage and the 2022 model, but you cannot get a hybrid option with any of the 2022 trims.
The other factor might be the extra features if you’re willing to pay for the higher price tag on the higher-end trims. The 2023 trims offer far more choices, not only with the hybrid engine, but in the sheer number of options. The 2023 Sportage smashes the meager four choices you get with the 2022 Sportage—unless you absolutely want the Nightfall or SX Turbo trim.
In the end, you’ll have to decide how important the hybrid engine option is to you, as well as whether you want to pay for some of the pricier versions the 2023 Sportage offers that simply aren’t available in the 2022 trims. The Kia Sportage is definitely worth your consideration, regardless of which year and trim you pick.
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